Forcing the body to do things it doesn’t want to

Restricting Hip turn
Flat right foot coming into the ball
Holding the lag
Making a full turn
Keeping your head down

Some of my favorite tension creating, injury making and shank producing cliches.

All of these things have one thing in common. The body most likely won’t want to do them when you try to force them and bad golf shots and injury are usually the result.

Something I am trying really hard to understand. I am not trying to start a pissing contest, or debates on differences in ideology. I am just trying to understand why we are all trying to contort our bodies so much.

Why are we constantly looking to do things to our body that either restrict natural body movement, or create body movements we are not capable of.

Restrict hip turn on back swing-why? So you can hurt your lower back?

Keep the back foot flat as long as possible-why? It can restrict hip turn and lateral hip movement on the downswing.

Holding the lag isolates the hands from the rest of the body.

Making a full turn usually ends up in a long swing with extra hip turn, arm swing, hand set…and a HUUUUUUGE casting motion with all sorts of power loss…forcing you to hold the lag.

Keeping your head down???? LOL

Who came up with that peach?

I have never seen that one do anything but turn the golf swing into an arm wave with no weight shift and/or the head actually moving down toward the ball.

Thank God no one ever told Annaka Sorrenstam and David Duval to keep their head down. The list of people who shot 59 would have two less names on it.

You don’t restrict hip turn. You find out why the hips are turning too much and fix that…usually a shoulder turn that is too flat.

You don’t hold the lag. You find out why you are losing the lag…usually a back swing that is too long trying to “make a full turn.”




  1. s.

    This is in the running for your all-time best post.

    “Why are we constantly looking to do things to our body that either restrict natural body movement, or create body movements we are not capable of.”

    Why? Because our golf “knowledge” consists almost entirely of trying to reverse-engineer a swing from 2-dimensional photos or video.

    And, because we are too afraid to challenge “authority.” If Bobby Jones said something on film that was prepared for him by studio-geeks, then it MUST be true!

    And, if Butch Harmon is going into the golf hall-of-fame, then I think it should be for inventing the statement, “feel is not real.” (At least, that’s where I heard it from first.)

  2. Wally

    You have got to stop making sence. I have never been able to bent at the waist and touch my toes, and I survived boot camp (NAVY) without doing so. So why is it that golf instructors expect you to bent like a pretzel if you couldn’t do it at age seventeen. So what

  3. rojoass

    Another great post Monte. You could do a 2 part series on yesterdays & today’s & make millions $$$…………..well never mind.
    That instruction is so simple it won’t work. Swing Crackheads like a better high than your giving……lol

  4. Calvin D

    Excellent. Coming to similar conclusions has me finally scoring in the seventies at the age of seventy. If my health remains good I will shoot my age fairly soon. The turn on the backswing must not be a straining contortion or a “tight coil” as the gurus like to say.
    I visibly wince every time I hear someone say “I picked my head up”.
    Keeping the rear foot flat never made sense to me unless you are double-jointed like Sam Snead (if I could stand flat footed and kick an eight foot ceiling like Sam could I might try swinging with a flat right foot). 🙂

    Monte, I would like to see a column from you on freedom through the ball. I don’t know a better way to say that but I feel like it is my missing piece. I would like to be able to finish in a natural poised way and I’m not there yet.

  5. Brett Picotte

    Great post, Monte.

    Does keeping your left arm straight (for a right handed golfer) fall into this category? It creates tension for me, so I try to keep it relatively straight but stop there. Just curious.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      There are four states of the left elbow.

      1. Locked
      2. Straight
      3. Soft
      4. Bent

      States 2 and 3 are just fine.

      I think I will do an article on this.

      • Brett Picotte

        Thanks Monte.

        I’ve got another idea for you, too – grip pressure. Many say you should grip tighter with the last three fingers of the left hand. Some grip tighter with the middle two fingers of the right hand. Ben Hogan said to do both. Some have a light grip overall. That can all be confusing, too.

  6. mike

    @brett, remember only that you can’t be tight in your fingers and supple in your arms or body at the same time, its ok to firm up a bid, but firm as rather a shade of supple and not firm being really firm (IMO)

    • Brett Picotte

      Thanks Mike.


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